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Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders Spar and Smooch in the Mumblecore Rom-Com ‘Results’

Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders Spar and Smooch in the Mumblecore Rom-Com ‘Results’:

Results marks a kind of coming-out party for Mumblecore writer-director Andrew Bujalski. Unlike his earlier oddball, character-driven microbudget flicks including Beeswax and Computer Chess, this newest one — a kinda, sorta romantic comedy — boasts a higher budget, a name cast, and aims a bit more toward the mainstream. It’s set in and around an Austin, Texas gym where a couple of hard bodies — an upbeat, self help slogan-spouting gym owner (Guy Pearce) and a bracingly negative trainer (Cobie Smulders) — work, spar, sleep together, and generally mess with each other’s heads. Both actors, good in the movie, are matched by Kevin Corrigan as a newly crazy-rich, recently divorced, screwed-up sad sack who wants to get in shape to be able to “take a punch” and to help win back his wife.

As the idiosyncratic, neo-Altmanesque movie shuffles and stumbles along on its own studiedly quirky wavelength, Corrigan’s lost, creepy zillionaire tries to awkwardly romance Smulders and nearly partners in the fitness business with Pearce. At first, these three look like they'e going to become an odd, weirdly likable trio of dreamers, malcontents, and mess-ups. But, not surprisingly, smooth romantic and financial relationships turn out to be nonstarters — as is the movie itself.

For all its talent on both sides of the camera, Results is a weirdly paced, uninvolving thing infatuated with its own awkward attempts at being conversational, raw, and real yet wandering into aimless sitcom-y subplots that involve Anthony Michael Hall as a fitness guru and Giovanni Ribisi as a mumbling, spacey something or other. You may find yourself dying for the characters to shut up and, you know, actually do something. Results wants to seduce and charm by roughing up the rom-com formula but, way too often, it drags and annoys. **

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